Review of AMD Radeon RX 6400

Review of AMD Radeon RX 6400 ...

The Radeon RX 6400 is a brand new RDNA2 GPU that uses TSMC''s cutting-edge 6nm process. Sounds so good, right? Well, maybe not so much once you get to see the results...

The RX 6400 is quite unique: This low-powered GPU does not require external power, consumes less than 75 watts, and therefore it can receive all of its power from the PCI Express slot. This model has a total board power rating of only 53 watts, indicating it should utilize even less power than the GeForce GTX 1650.

This low-powered version of the RX 6400 is more likely to be created, according to PowerColor, and this is what most card manufacturers have used. If this RX 6400 was not for an excessive $160 MSRP, here''s how we get it right.

Though sub-75W graphics cards like the RX 550 have been priced below $100 ($80 for the RX 550), the RX 6400 is difficult to get excited about. Of course, all graphics cards and tech products have been significantly higher than they were previously. When the Radeon 6500 XT was introduced a few months ago, and that product is showing signs of weakness.

We''re certainly not shocked by the price, and at this point that likely won''t be news to anyone. For those of you looking for an affordable gaming graphics card, the RX 6400 will not be it, or at least it shouldn''t be for anyone who has access to a decent second hand market, but we''ll discuss it in more detail towards the conclusion of this review.

Let''s not talk about who the RX 6400 might appeal to. It''s a small-scale single-slot graphics card that doesn''t require external power. The RX 6400 can be thrown in anything with a PCIe x16 slot.

People often snag models for well under $100 with respectable components such as a 16 GB of RAM and a Core i5 processor. These PCs often only accept low-profile graphics cards and do not provide PCIe power with the proprietary power unit. So having access to a relatively inexpensive low-profile graphics card gives them new meaning as a budget gaming PC.

The GTX 1650 was certainly a niche use case, although there''s a disproportionate amount of prospective buyers interested in such a product. Unfortunately, the GTX 1650 didn''t fulfill its low-profile promise until 6 months after its initial release, implying that the vast majority of the 1650''s required 6-pin PCIe power and were full height cards.

The RX 6400 appears to be completing the niche quite nicely, although paying $160 is still excessive to add an old rust bucket and gaming. At least for us, something similar to $80 is a lot more appropriate.

Insbesondere wenn man start to contemplate the specs...

There''s no much of a complicated way to make this point, as the RX 6400 is a reduced version of the much loved RX 6500 XT, and yes, for those of you who can''t sense sarcasm, that was sarcasm...

The 6500 XT was almost universally hated, so it''ll be interesting to see if the 6400''s power and size might help it overcome a 25% decrease in core frequency, a 11% decrease in memory clocks and bandwidth.

The RX 6400 has inherited all of the shortcomings that plagued the 6500 XT: while still contemplating a PCIe 4.0 x4 interface, no hardware encoding, and no AV1 decode. AMD has locked out overclocking, allowing you to do nothing more.

With that, let''s look into the benchmark results. We''re currently testing our Ryzen 9 5950X GPU, but we know that no one will match this CPU with a budget, but that''s not the case. We''re also testing graphics performance, therefore we aim to avoid a CPU problem that would dethrone the data.

For our low-end to entry-level testing, we usually use medium-quality settings or settings that make sense for a given title. Please note the RX 6400 has been tested using both PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 3.0 on the same motherboard, but we''ve only toggled between the two in the BIOS. We''ve tested at 1080p and 1440p, but we''ll focus on more relevant 1080p results.

Benchmarks

Starting with the Assassin''s Creed Valhalla, which was tested at 1080p using the medium quality settings, we see that the RX 6400 is good for 54 fps on average, although it is only slightly similar to the previous RX 570, but it was 8% faster than the GTX 1650, at least when using PCIe 4.0.

Switching to PCIe 3.0, which will be suitable for old OEM PCs, performance has dropped by 9%, and now the RX 6400 is slightly slower than the GTX 1650. We''re also considering a 20% performance decrease when it comes to the 6500 XT.

For a low-profile single slot card that receives all of its power from the PCIe slot, it''s decent.

Older titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be missed out and reach 60 frames. Using PCIe 4.0, the Radeon RX 6400 achieved 53 fps, which again is RX 570-like performance, but when switched to PCIe 3.0, it fell behind the GTX 1650 for an otherwise traumatic experience.

Watch Dogs: Legion was tested using medium-quality settings and here we were unable to achieve 60 frames, but the game was playable. Using PCIe 4.0, we''re again looking at performance similar to the RX 570 and then with PCIe 3.0 frame rates do drop below the GTX 1650, which is very disappointing.

Given that the Rainbow Six Siege is not a very demanding game, and it is already seven years old, we use the highest possible quality parameters to test old products like the RX 570 and the GTX 1650.

These tests also reveal how much of an issue the PCIe bandwidth for the 6500 XT and 6400 was. The 1% lows were particularly bad for the 6400, which was second to none of the GTX 1650, but the 6400 was 21% slower than the RX 570, respectively. This time, using PCIe 3.0 it was 43% slower than the RX 570, putting a lot of work to be done under these conditions for $160.

The F1 performance is not comparable to those of previous low-end graphics cards. Using PCIe 4.0 the 6400 was 14% slower than the GTX 1650, while the RX 6400 was a factor 29% slower than the RX 570, thus PCIe bandwidth is at a premium here as well. Also, the fact that the RX 6400 ends up slower than the GTX 1050 Ti when using PCIe 3.0 is the ultimate embarrassment.

The Horizon Zero Dawn results are interesting considering that the 6500 XT saw a significant decrease in performance when using PCIe 3.0, whereas the 6400 was similar using either PCIe standard.

Performance stretches right between the GTX 1650 and RX 570, so we expect it to be reasonable, or at least half as good as it gets, especially for the PCIe 3.0 version.

When using the more common PCIe 3.0 interface, we''re back to RX 570-like performance or slower than the GTX 1650.

The RX 6400 was 12% slower than the GTX 1650, and 24% slower than the RX 570, which is a bit gruesome.

Doom Eternal was tested using the ultra preset, but the texture pool was reduced to medium for 4GB graphics cards. The 6500 XT was decent for 98 fps on average using PCIe 4.0, but under the same conditions the 6400 was a massive 47% slower.

The memory bandwidth is apparently increasing, causing bad performance. Finally, in PCIe 3.0 systems, the 6400 is quite rare under these conditions.

The balanced quality preset for Resident Evil Village was tested, using either PCIe 3.0 or 4.0 with the RX 6400, thus the game was at least playable. However, even when using PCIe 4.0 it was still 13% slower than the RX 570, which is a bit rough given the price.

Death Stranding was tested with a medium setting, which is labeled as "default." Here we''re looking at the RX 570-like performance, making even the PCIe 3.0 configuration for the RX 6400 11% quicker than the GTX 1650. Overall performance was impressive and certainly provided an enjoyable gaming experience in this title.

The PCIe 3.0 and 4.0 performance of the RX 6400 was basically the same, and the two configuration is focusing on the RX 570 levels, but perhaps that''s okay.

In terms of volume, just over 60 frames at 1080p per second using medium quality settings is about as good as you could expect, and at the same time, it was extremely playable. Not bad given the card''s physical dimensions.

Even if the 6500 XT can''t average 60 fps in our test in Cyberpunk 2077, the RX 6400 was never going to do well, and it didn''t. Using PCIe 4.0''s medium quality settings, we''re looking at 37 fps, or 32 fps with PCIe 3.0.

Power Consumption

Here''s a look at power consumption and the Radeon RX 6400 consumes power. It''s not exactly groundbreaking though. GTX 1650 levels of performance are somewhat impressive when compared to the RX 570, but that''s basically six-year old technology.

Cooling

The PowerColor Low Profile RX 6400 is a tiny cooler as shown in the intro photos. Now, because the cooler is so tiny, it is a bit noisier than we would have liked a 43 dBA, it''s not horribly loud, but we could clearly hear it over case fans. It''s a lot like a busy laptop due to the tiny fan rotating at 3600 RPM.

The GPU temperature was reasonable, with the cores reaching around 2.3 GHz. This is not a bad outcome for a budget-friendly graphics card.

Taking the Average

For the 12 game average of 1080p, we''re using PCIe 4.0, which is the same level of performance you might get from the $150 GTX 1650 three years ago. According to the GTX 1650, a PCIe 3.0 x16 device, which means that in a PCIe 3.0 system, it''s on average 20% faster than the RX 6400.

Again, this is 20% faster, uses the same amount of power, it''s three years older, and technically cheaper. Based on that, the RX 6400 is clearly a massive failure, just as the 6500 XT was.

Both products are suitable for 1440p gaming, but here''s a look at the average performance seen across 12 games. Basically, GTX 1650 performance, making higher value components like the GTX 1650 Super faster and better suited to this higher resolution.

What We Learned

The Radeon RX 6400 has suck quite as much as we knew it would. However, those who want a budget graphics card for gaming should certainly look elsewhere, particularly if you have a PCIe 3.0 system. The best option for those who want to get their hands on a graphics card for under $200 is to shop second hand if possible.

Currently, the 4GB RX 570 cards are selling for around $150, with some models going for around $100. Yes, they are old, and they enhance power, but as we''ve seen here for 1080p gaming in a PCIe 3.0 system, you''re looking at 30% better performance while maintaining features such as hardware encoding.

Alternatively, second hand GTX 1650''s are selling for under $150, extending PCIe 3.0 users'' performance to 20%. That means GTX 1650 Super cards are going for anywhere from $130 to $200, and in a PCIe 3.0 system our 1080p average data suggests a 60% increase.

Because you want to get the most bang for yourself, then paying even $200 for a GTX 1650 Super is a far wiser investment. At the same time, it is at least 25% more costly for average gaming performance.

The Radeon RX 6600 is definitely the cheapest option you should bother with, priced at $330. Although that''s twice the price of the RX 6400, it''s a significantly superior product that delivers more than twice the performance in PCIe 4.0 systems or 3x in PCIe 3.0 systems. However, if you cannot stretch the budget to purchase an RX 6600, then you are best of waiting for the market to improve further or buy second hand.

The only possibility for the RX 6400 would be in a low-profile system where a conventional full size would simply fail. Thing is, although it would need a modern small form factor PC that supports PCIe 4.0 to be worth it, this would be required to unlock the full performance from the 6400, but also the system itself would be worth enough to justify adding such an expensive component. $160 is very high for what the RX 6400 offers overall.

Unless you have a small form factor 11th or 12th-gen Intel PC with a PCIe 4.0 capability or an AM4 small form factor PC with a PCIe 4.0 capability CPU and motherboard, the RX 6400 makes no sense. In our view, the RX 6400 can only make sense for a PCIe 4.0 system that is limited to a low profile graphics card.

If you want a LP graphics card but want the lowest price, buy a GeForce GT 710 instead for $50 to $60. For gaming, the RX 6400 is by far the best option, which really indicates the state of the LP market. For this extreme niche the 6400 would be a godsend, but for everyone else it''s a compact dumpster fire. And on the flip side, AMD has removed the review program for the Radeon RX 6400.

  • Radeon RX 6400 on Amazon
  • Radeon RX 6600 on Amazon
  • GeForce GTX 1650 Super on Amazon
  • GeForce GT 710 on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 3060 Ti on Amazon
  • GeForce RTX 3060 on Amazon
  • Ryzen 5 5600X on Amazon
  • Ryzen 9 5950X on Amazon

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